Professor of Anthropology Walter Fairservis, Jr., the director of Vassar’s Asian studies program and the main planner of the permanent exhibition hall of the peoples of Asia at the American Museum of Natural History, wrote to The New York Times, deploring the lack of cultural knowledge in the nation’s policies and actions.  Charging that the “great factories of learning such as Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Chicago…should be throbbing with discourse aimed at finding understanding of a basis of our actions,” he claimed that “politicians, news commentators and journalists” had “made no real efforts to know about the history or motivations of the Arab peoples.”

“Should the United States,” Fairservis asked, “continue to furnish armaments and armies for friend and foe alike and remain essentially passive as the innocent are slaughtered in consequence?”